If you are looking for a place of stunning beauty and restful seclusion, I would highly suggest Whidbey Island, Washington.
My parent’s are alumni of Seattle Pacific University, and as such, we had opportunity to spend a weekend at Fort Casey, and it has cemented my love for turn of the century houses (I am officially holding out for a Victorian dream home now, no lie).
We and our friends enjoyed three days in one of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. We had bonfires on the beach, great conversations in a tidy little parlor, and woke up every morning to the beautiful colors of Autumn on the island.
I had the opportunity to visit Coupeville, the town in the middle of the island, and checked out their waterfront shops, where the most prevalent sales pitch I heard was “Our merchandise is all made in the USA or from the Fair Trade Organization!” (There is a bakery there that is to die for. GIANT pastries). They have a large art community on the island and a rural, small town feel that can be quite pleasant.
It was a pleasant pause, a chance to get out of my own head and spend time with some of my favorite people. And while I was ecstatic to get back to the buzz and bustle of the city, I’ll most definitely keep it in my top places to travel to.
P.S. Ferry’s are kind of amazing. I’d never ridden one before, growing up landlocked in California. But they really are spectacular.